A public hearing has been scheduled for 10am on August 30, 2023, in Philadelphia by the House Housing & Community Development Committee on “Residential Construction Protection” – HB691, HB692, HB693 and HB694.  This package of bills aims to expand consumer protection as it relates to construction.  However, HB694 also imposes new continuing education requirements on code officials. 

HB691 Description:  Residential Construction Lemon Law – As we have seen from the automotive industry, too often lawsuits are added to the “cost of doing business” and the only way to ensure that proper attention is paid to quality and safety is to ensure that purchasers have a remedy in law for a defective product. This legislation will create such a guarantee which will provide that if there are a number of defects in new construction within the first two years from delivery to the owner, the builder shall repair construction defects at no cost to the owner within six months or could be liable for double the repair costs.

HB692 Description:  Amending the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act – This bill addresses “house flipping.” The bill requires that for a house flipper to be considered an “owner” under the law, they must live in the home as a private residence for one year following construction.  This closes a loophole and ensures that house flippers are held responsible for the residences that they are rehabilitating.

HB693 Description:  Adjacent Neighbor’s Bill of Rights – This bill advises homeowners, in particular if they share a party wall or are a rowhome, of their rights and the laws surrounding construction including limitations on the hours when construction can occur, rights to clean and safe access, and rights to hold developers and contractors liable for any damage or disobedience to the law.

HB694 Description:  Continuing Education for Construction Code Officials – Enhances the continuing education requirements for code enforcement officers to include education on illegal construction practices and adds the Attorney General as an entity capable of providing continuing education. The legislation will also require continuing education for residential building code inspectors to include education on proper installation of stucco.

You can stream the hearing at https://pahouse.com/live